US National Security spokesman John Kirby emphasized on Monday that the United States is not seeking a conflict with Iran in spite of an ongoing shadow war with its proxies in the region.
In an interview with Fox News, Kirby stated that in spite of over 40 attacks being carried out on US facilities in Iraq and Syria since the war in Gaza broke out, "We don't seek a conflict with Iran right now".
The US was fast to defend Israel's right to defend itself after the Hamas invasion on October 7, which saw 1,400 mostly civilians killed and around 240 taken hostage to Gaza. The US has vowed to support Israel militarily and since deployed two carriers and thousands of forces to the Middle East as Iran's proxies began to step up action not only against Israel but against US targets.
Kirby mentioned retaliatory strikes, of which so far there have only been three, aimed at deterring further attacks on US military bases in the region. He emphasized that the focus is on inhibiting the capacity of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to support their proxy groups.
Responding to questions about why President Joe Biden hasn't ordered a direct attack on Iran's key military infrastructure, Kirby stated that the government is currently focused only on targets that hinder the IRGC's support for proxy groups.
When asked about potential actions and whether Biden is waiting for American casualties before taking substantive action, Kirby emphasized the readiness to take retaliatory strikes to protect troops and facilities. He concluded, "We are not looking to escalate, but if they continue to attack our troops and put their lives in danger, we will continue to take action to protect them."